Stigma related to sexual violence (SV) is associated with many negative physical and social outcomes. We sought to create a contextually relevant SV stigma measure for women in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and assess the scale's psychometrics and validity. Using baseline screening data from two randomized controlled trials of services for female SV survivors in eastern DRC (n=1,184), we conducted exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses to test the measurement model. Cronbach's alphas and Kuder-Richardson 20 statistics were used to evaluate internal consistency. Logistic and linear regressions of the stigma measures with related constructs were used to assess construct validity. Two distinct but related scales were developed based on factor analyses: a four-item scale of discrimination related stigma (i.e. enacted stigma) and an eight-item scale of combined perceived and internalized stigma (i.e. felt stigma). Both scales showed good internal consistency (KR-20=0.68; alpha=0.86). A higher felt stigma score was associated with significant increases in combined depression and anxiety and trauma symptoms, as well as functional impairment (p<0.001). Having a child as a result of SV was associated with both significantly higher enacted and felt stigma (p<0.001). Neither SV stigma scale was associated with medical care seeking. To address harmful ramifications of stigma among SV survivors, locally relevant quantitative measures are necessary to understand the nature and severity of stigma they experience. Our process of scale creation and evaluation can serve as an example for developing locally relevant SV-related stigma measures.
Using data from the International Dating Violence Study, this study examined the roles of early socialization, family social structure, and relationship dynamics factors on physical aggression in dating among U.S. college students in emerging adulthood. The interaction effects between these three domains of interest (early socialization, family social structure, and relationship dynamics) were explored to understand the underlying mechanisms that influenced victimization and perpetration in dating. In general, we found that family and relational variables associated with dating victimization and perpetration were fairly similar. Among the early socialization variables, experience of childhood neglect and having witnessed domestic violence were significantly related to victimization and perpetration. Living in a two-parent household appeared to exert a protective effect, although associations with parental education were not statistically significant. Further, the participants were more likely to experience victimization or impose aggression in dating relationships which were characterized by conflicts, distress, dominance, or psychological aggression. Overall, for the participants who came from a two-parent household, dominance in dating was linked to less violence. When the participants faced higher levels of psychological aggression, adverse early socialization factors were associated with higher levels of dating violence victimization and perpetration. Research and practice implications were discussed.